By Lilly Gaehde (Brookline, Mass./Brookline), a senior captain on the Seahawk cross country team
There are a lot of things I learned from being a student-athlete at St. Mary's. I was introduced to St. Mary's through the cross country team and spent my next four years running, sweating, and competing with a group of hilarious, weird, compassionate, and welcoming people. Being a member of the team allowed me to spend time with some really great people whom I may have never met otherwise because of the diverse interests and passions that exist on the team.
The team was still very young when I came in and it continued to grow and evolve each year. The supportive and encouraging environment cultivated by members of the team has never changed though. Having the opportunity to be a part of a team of people who showed such support and love for one another was something truly special of which to be a part of. It taught me what it means to be part of a team and part of a community. I learned about myself as a leader and a teammate and through the examples set by my teammates in the grades above mine, I saw who I wanted to become.
Belonging to such an encouraging community where I knew I would always find support allowed me to grow in so many ways and have experiences I don't think I would have had otherwise. I was also able to watch my teammates grow, which as sappy as it may sound, was so amazing to witness. I am so proud of each and every one of my teammates and there is so much we have all accomplished. I will carry with me what I have learned from my experiences here throughout my life.
Twitter: @smcseahawks, @SMCMXC, #HawksFlyTogether